cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Governor Doyle has concealed so many different things in the bowels of the budget bill that one has to wonder why. The latest to find the light of day is a provision that would permit judges to expunge certain felony convictions from the records of the person having been convicted.
This was passed by the Joint Finance Committee on a 9-6 vote. It is likely that it will be passed when the Assembly and the Senate take up the budget.
If this is a good idea, why wasn't it simply introduced as a free-standing bill? It would then have been assigned to the appropriate committees and had hearings during which time interested parties could've made their views known. The governor would probably tell us that he only did this in the interest of saving time.
Since it was buried deep inside the budget bill, we can certainly speculate as to the reasons. Would those include the fact that this might not pass muster if it were a free-standing bill?
Is it right that a felony conviction can be completely removed so that it appears as if nothing ever occurred? Is there a need to at least have some trail that establishes that something happened in the individual's past? Wouldn't that be helpful to a judge if this person were to re-offend at some point in the future?
The whole idea of loading a budget bill with non-budget tidbits goes against the grain of open government. It suggests, whether or not true, that there is something going on about which we should be informed.
This is especially ill-advised when the Office of the Governor, the Assembly and the Senate are all controlled by one party, without regard to which party is in control.